P-platers speak with a united voice in survey
By RENEE REDMOND
P-PLATE driver Nadia Brown was happy her responses to a youth driver survey reflected the majority view of the other 4000 young people surveyed.
The survey, sent out by State Member for Ballina Don Page in December, targeted Ballina drivers aged between 17 and 25.
The results have shown that young drivers strongly disagree with night curfews, oppose limits on passenger numbers for novice drivers, but agree that driver education should form part of the high school curricula.
Nadia Brown said she remembered filling out the survey last year, and had similar opinions to the majority of survey respondents.
"But I thought the passenger limit was a good idea. Young people tend to speed when there are a lot of people piled into their car," the 18-yearold said.
"I've been in a car when that's happened. I think the driver gets distracted easily."
Mr Page said the State Government recently announced its intention to ban Pplate drivers from driving V8 or turbocharged vehicles.
"I agree it's better that novice drivers stay away from high-powered cars," Mr Page said.
The Carr Government has also said Pplate drivers who lose their licence should be restricted to one passenger when they get it back.
"If you lose your licence on your Pplates you should suffer the consequences. There's also a lot of distraction and noise in cars full of young people," he said.
Mr Page said the introduction of a night curfew between 10pm and 6am for novice drivers would not work on the Northern Rivers.
"I am opposed to curfews, especially in country areas. There are a lot of P-plate drivers who need their vehicles between these hours to get to work," he said.
"There's no public transport available for these young drivers and if they need to get somewhere there's nothing stopping them from taking off their P-plates.
"I think curfews are not going to happen. It can't be policed."
Mr Page added a question to the survey about the zeroalcohol limit introduced last year by the State Government, and was surprised by the number of young drivers who agreed with the measure.
"Seventy per cent of the people surveyed agreed with the zero alcohol, which was a pleasant surprise," he said.
"It's hard enough for adults to know how much they can drink before they're over the limit. For young drivers it makes it easier to leave it at zero."